I think I speak for many when we say we struggle with our faith.
To say we have moments of doubts is an understatement.
Our lives are plagued with heartaches, sufferings, and frustrations. We know no joy, no love.
Let me list a few of the things that seem troubling.
(1) If God is the author of joy, then why do so many of us feel so miserable? If He truly loves us, why don't we feel that love?
(2) We question our talents and gifts. They are supposed to give us life. But instead, they are a source of frustration.
Who carries a greater burden? A person who is not aware of his own gifts or a person who is aware but can not fulfill his potential?
It's been said that there is no heavier burden than an unfulfilled potential.
Is each one of us gifted with talents? Or is it all wishful thinking?
(3) Can each of us really make a difference? Or is everything futile as the author asks in Ecclesiastes 1, verse 2?
(4) I think about the missing children we read about. The heartaches the parents must go through. And in many cases, never finding out. Even if their children are dead, don't the parents have a right to know in order to bring some closure? If God is looking down and knows where the children are but won't tell, what does that say about God?
If we had a friend who behaved this way, we would longer call him a friend.
(5) I think about the injustices of our society. We are taught somehow that God, one day, will right all wrongs. That those who have been hurt will triumph.
If God can not "resurrect" us from our pains, our broken hearts, etc., that never seem to end, how are we to believe in a resurrection of Christ in just three days?
If He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, what is it He can do later that He can't do now?
It has been written by one religious writer that to go on living despite all the setbacks and heartaches we experience is the most Godly thing.
To that I add, it may be the most Godly but it also may be the most futile.
(6) We are told when bad things happen to us, it is man's free will. And yet, when good things occur, many of us will give God credit.
Is it not, too, man's free will to do good? God may have inspired us but when it comes right down to it, it's still man's free will at work.
(7) In Hebrews 11, verse 1, faith is described as the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we can not see up ahead.
Why is faith so hard to obtain and maintain for so many?
For as long as I can remember, I have been a chronic worrier. It goes beyond doubts. If my hours at work have been cut, I start to panic. And I only resume confidence when I am scheduled to work.
Whose fault is it for this lack of faith?
A head coach of a sports franchise is to instill confidence into his players in order that they may succeed. If he fails to achieve this and, thereby, allows his players to question their abilities and their roles, that coach would be fired.
Many religious writers speak about "if you want greater faith, you have to believe."
Shouldn't it be up to God to give us and strengthen that faith?
If it is up to us to believe, why rely on God?
(8) What would the world be like if Christ had never come into the world?
In Galatians 5:22, we read that the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.
Did those fruits not exist before Christ?
Do Christians and people of faith have a monopoly on those fruits? Aren't there happy, content atheists just as there are miserable Christians?
(9) Can a relationship with God really make a difference?
Aren't we really an extension of God's love and non-judgmental ways and isn't it up to us to bring about the Kingdom of God? And if we don't, isn't the Christian faith as good as dead?
As theologian Francis Schaeffer says: If we do not show love to one another, the world has a right to question whether Christianity is true.
Why is God so hard to find? Those who believe have some accountability to give.